SOURCE: Louis M. Martini Winery

Louis M. Martini Winery

November 08, 2010 18:12 ET

Louis M. Martini Winery: Chef Bruce Aidells Creates Easy and Elegant Recipes for Cold-Weather Entertaining

Lamb and Beef Make Perfect Partners for Napa's Signature Wine

ST. HELENA, CA--(Marketwire - November 8, 2010) - The end of daylight savings signaled that long, cold weather months are ahead. Louis M. Martini® Winery and Chef Bruce Aidells have partnered to create original dishes that prove fall is not to be feared, but rather the perfect time to keep family and friends warm and well-fed.

Chef Aidells, cookbook author and founder of Aidells Sausage Company, concocted original dishes designed to highlight the multiple layers and lush, lingering finish of Louis M. Martini's 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

"Inevitably, the cooler weather leads us back into the kitchen with thoughts of meals that will warm us up from the inside," said Michael Martini, third generation winemaker for Louis M. Martini. "By partnering with Bruce, we've developed the perfect way to highlight our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with a few delicious, hearty recipes to match."

With hints of tobacco, dried fruit and herbs, the intense flavors of the 2007 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon stand up to the warm, rich recipes created by Bruce Aidells. Aidells is considered an authority on meat and the author of nine cookbooks, including The Complete Meat Cookbook and The Complete Sausage Book. His articles appear regularly in numerous national publications.

Louis M. Martini wines are available nationwide and online at The 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has a suggested retail price of $30.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Olive Tapenade Crust: Serves 4
Rack of lamb is both elegant and one of the simplest roasts to prepare, perfect for a special occasion. For best results and presentation, have the butcher trim the rack down to a single eye of meat and french the bones (frenching means to expose the last 2 inches of bone by removing all of the intercostal meat). An elegant roast such as this rack of lamb needs to be accompanied by an elegant wine such as Louis M. Martini 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


Rack of Lamb:
1 - 7- to 8-bone large rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched (about 1½ to 1¾ lbs)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive Tapenade:
¼ cup pitted French, Italian or Greek black olives
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Remove lamb from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Sprinkle lamb generously with salt and pepper all over. Heat a heavy 10-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat. Place rack in pan, fat side down, and sear for 1-2 minutes. Using meat tongs, clasp lamb and sear meat with the bones vertical for another minute or two -- be careful not to burn yourself on the sizzling juices. Then flip to the back bone side and sear 1-2 minutes more.
  4. Make the olive tapenade by combining olives, garlic, lemon zest, basil, thyme, vinegar and olive oil in the small work bowl of a food processor and pulsing until well blended. Smear the paste over the fat side and ends of the roast. Place rack bone side down in the skillet. Cover the exposed part of the bones with foil and insert into oven.
  5. Roast for 12 minutes for smaller racks and 15 minutes for larger racks. Check the internal temperature. When it reaches 120-125 degrees F it is rare, or 125-135 degrees F for medium rare. If not yet done, roast 5 minutes more and check again. Continue to check every 5 minutes. When done, place rack on a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Carve roast between each bone and provide 2 chops per serving.

Pan Sautéed New York Steaks with Brandy and Port Cream Pan Sauce: Serves 4
This is a take on Steak Diane, the famous table-side steak dish served for eons in fancy French and "Continental" restaurants. Instead of thin-pounded steaks I prefer using New York steaks, whose rich flavor really shines with the zesty sauce. There is a good reason this dish has been around so long and really never becomes outdated, because it's delicious. The steak and sauce are truly special when married with a bottle of excellent Louis M. Martini® 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


NY Steaks:
2 - 1¼ to 1½ -inch thick New York strip steaks (about 12- to 16-ounces each), each cut into 2 equal halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Brandy and Port Cream Sauce:
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
¼ cup brandy, such as E&J® brandy
¼ cup port, such as a Tawny Port
½ cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup heavy cream
Lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Season each steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan that is large enough to hold all 4 steak pieces over medium high heat. Add the butter, and when it begins to foam add the steaks. Cook for about 4 minutes until the bottom of each steak is nicely browned. Flip and cook steaks 4 minutes more. Remove when the steaks reach 120 degrees F on a meat thermometer. This will give you medium rare steaks. Transfer to a warm platter and tent with foil.
  2. To make the pan sauce, reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots to the pan. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. De-glaze the pan by adding the brandy and scraping up any browned bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the port and reduce liquid to a couple of tablespoons. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Whisk in the mustard, then the cream. Stir and continue to cook at a low boil to reduce the sauce to a syrupy consistency. Taste sauce and season with lemon, salt and pepper. Add back the steaks to the sauce. For about 1 minute, continuously spoon some sauce over the steaks to re-warm them. Serve at once.

Cook's Notes:

  • This is a perfect dish to serve for a romantic dinner such as Valentine's Day, a special birthday or for a quick and elegant meal worthy of any special guests.
  • To keep things simple, serve with oven roasted potatoes and start with a salad.

About Louis M. Martini®
For more than 75 years, the Louis M. Martini Winery has crafted award-winning wines from the flagship grape of Napa Valley: Cabernet Sauvignon. With the simple premise that the best grapes make the best wines, Founder Louis M. Martini set out to acquire the finest terroir in what is now one of the world's most renowned wine producing regions. In 1977, Michael Martini, third generation family winemaker, took the helm. Merging art and science in the winery in 2003, he introduced Cellar 254 an "artist's studio" to experiment with small production, artisan red wines. Today, the winery continues the tradition in which it was established: pursuing the best Cabernet Sauvignon that the region can offer. The Louis M. Martini Winery and tasting room are located on Highway 29 in St. Helena, Calif. For more information, please visit

California Table Wine, ©2010 Louis M. Martini Winery, St. Helena, CA. All rights reserved.

Brandy, Alcohol 40% by Volume (80 proof), ©2010 E & J Distillers, Modesto, CA. All rights reserved.

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